I AGREE that there needs to be more deliberation before the School District approves funding for additional charter schools (
"Charters: Too many, too fast?," May 27
I've been teaching in the district for 11 years. I've watched charters pop-up like Starbucks. And like an addictive cup of coffee, parents are lining up to get their charter-school "fix."
The sad reality is that charters are no better than the traditional schools. Research for Action recently published a report that clearly supports this fact. And while the charter-school craze continues, traditional schools are struggling financially. According to the recent state "Costing-Out" study, Philadelphia public-school children are under-funded by $4,184 a year per student.
If the city's traditional public schools are lacking in resources, why would the district dump more money into alternative schools that are no better than the status quo? In my opinion, the district continues to promote charter schools because the SRC does not understand what is wrong with education in Philadelphia.
They still fail to see that a student's home environment means more than the length of the school day, the type of curriculum, the diversity of the staff. And how have charters improved the home environment of their students?
How have they stabilized neighborhoods and brought safety into the community? How have they solved addiction problems? Anger management problems? How have they stopped the "no-snitch" mentality? Made education a priority in every home of every student?
The answer is they haven't. The SRC should focus on providing more support for its struggling traditional schools rather than wasting resources on fancy charters.